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Colonel in charge for Hughes

Sandra Hughes gained an emotional first Grade One triumph just two weeks after the death of her father Dessie when Lieutenant Colonel won a dramatic Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

Having registered her first success with a licence just 24 hours earlier, Hughes was back in the winner's enclosure thanks to the Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding, who was ridden by Bryan Cooper.

The turning point of the race came when the hot favourite Zaidpour fell at a flight around the halfway stage, bringing down King Of The Picts and not doing Jetson any favours.

Little King Robin set out to make all but was stalked by both the remaining runners.

There was little to choose between the other pair at the final flight, but Lieutenant Colonel produced the better turn of foot to beat Jetson by four lengths.

Returning to a warm welcome, Hughes said of the 7-2 winner: "It was always Dad's plan to stay over hurdles with him this year. He was beaten first time over fences so we decided to give him an extra year over hurdles.

"He's in at Christmas so we'll have to have a look at that."

Owner Michael O'Leary added: "He's only five and when he didn't win his beginners chase first time out we thought we'd put him over hurdles and see what he could do.

"I think we'll keep him to hurdles now for the rest of the year and hopefully the novice chases won't be quite as tough next year."


From Belfast Telegraph